Mountain Biking at Red Rock Canyon

Mountain Biking at Red Rock Canyon

The Red Rock National Conservation Area is a mountain biker’s paradise. With its stunning red rock formations, wide open trails, and incredible views of the Las Vegas Valley, it’s no wonder why so many mountain bikers flock to this area.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is a 197,000-acre park stretching from Las Vegas to Pahrump. Managed by the National Park Service, Red Rock Canyon offers spectacular scenery and amazing single-track mountain biking opportunities.

While mountain biking is not allowed on any of the trails in the Red Rock Canyon Scenic Drive, there are over 100 miles of wicked single-track in the Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area.

What Makes Red Rock Canyon A Great Mountain Biking Destination

Red Rock Canyon has become a major mountain biking destination due to its terrain, natural scenery, Bighorn sheep and wild burros, and proximity to Las Vegas. The popularity of mountain biking in the region since the 1990s has allowed the mountain biking community to expand and develop its trail system to accommodate mountain bikers.

McGhies Blue Diamond Bike Outpost has been a staple in the Red Rock Canyon mountain biking community and is a great place to start for information about the trails and to pick up some trail maps.

Popular Mountain Biking Trails at Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area has two main trail systems for mountain biking. The Cottonwood Trail system, the Cowboy Trail system and the many trails that connect and shoot off of the two areas make up over 100 miles of amazing single track.

From mellow to strenuous, these trails provide a great range for riders of all experience levels.

Mountain Biking The Cottonwood Trails At Red Rock Canyon

The Cottonwood Trails at Red Rock National Conservation Area is one of the best places to mountain bike in Las Vegas. This ride is great for beginners and intermediate riders as it is relatively easy and well-maintained. As a result, it is perfect for anyone looking to experience the thrill of mountain biking without having to worry about the more difficult portions.

The trail system at Cottonwood Trails starts and ends in the small, cozy town of Blue Diamond. Along the way, riders are treated to a variety of terrain, including small drops, rock gardens, sand, and hard-pack as well as Bonnie & Clyde’s old car. This mix of terrain allows riders of all levels to experience a range of challenging but enjoyable single-track conditions. The moderate climbs and descents also provide a great workout.

Overall, Cottonwood Trails is a great place to mountain bike because it offers a solid challenge for riders of all levels. It also provides a great opportunity to explore the areas around Las Vegas and take in the stunning views of the Red Rock National Conservation Area. If you are looking for an enjoyable mountain biking experience, the Cottonwood Trails are a great place to start.

Where To Find The Cottonwood Valley Trails

There are two places to get started on the Cottonwood Trails which are about 30 minutes southwest of Las Vegas, the first is at the Cottonwood/Late Night Trailheads off of State Route 160, about four miles west of the State Routes 159/160 intersections. Here you will find free paved parking and bathrooms. There will be trials heading both North and South of the parking lot.

The second is at Mcghies Bike Outpost parking in the center of Blue Diamond. Be sure to stop into the bike shop to pick up a trail map and some tips on their favorite trails.

Best Trails To Ride At Cottonwood Valley Trails:
Beginner: Rubber Ducky
Intermediate: Landmine Loop, Three Mile Smile, Dead Horse Loop
Advanced: The Hurl, Mountain Springs Connector

Mountain Biking The Cowboy Trails At Red Rock Canyon

The Cowboy Trails right across the street from the entrance to the Red Rock National Conservation area are ideal for any mountain biker. The trails, named for the wild mustangs that shaped them, stretch 9.9 miles and wind around the scenic valley between the Black Velvet cliffs and Fossil Ridge.

Many of the routes are very technical and require an impressive effort to overcome. Experienced bikers are advised to start with a long and challenging climb followed by a steep and rowdy descent. You’ll be rewarded with some of the best views of Red Rock Canyon and the iconic Mojave Desert landscape.

The trails offer a steep technical challenge that will keep riders of all levels engaged and entertained. Some of the trails are not marked very well so be sure to have your favorite trail mobile app downloaded (there is very limited cell service) with you as a guide.

Where To Find The Cowboy Trails

The Cowboy Trail Rides Trailhead is located about 30 minutes west of Las Vegas in the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, but right outside the Scenic Loop area so there is no fee for parking.

From the strip, take Charleston Blvd West and go past Highway I-215. Pass the turnoff into the Red Rock Canyon Scenic Loop Area, and continue west on Charleston Blvd. for 1.1 miles to the “Horseback Riding” parking lot on the left (southeast) side of the road. Park here; this is the trailhead.

From the other direction, the trailhead is 1.2 miles north of the Scenic Loop Road exit. Parking can be limited so get there early.

Best Trails To Ride A Cowboy Trails:
Beginner: Cowboy Trails is not a good place for beginners
Intermediate: Flow Job, Goat Roper
Advanced: Boneshaker, Ebb n’ Flow

Final Thoughts

Red Rock Canyon offers some of the best mountain biking trails in the area. From the scenic views of the desert landscapes to the breathtaking singletrack, Red Rock Canyon is an ideal spot for mountain bikers.

No matter your skill level or experience, there are plenty of trails in the Red Rock National Conservation Area that will provide an unforgettable mountain biking experience. With its stunning landscapes and incredible views, it’s no wonder why so many mountain bikers come here to ride!